Japanese retail design in London

Opinion / Inspiration

We were interested to read about the recent opening of two new Japanese concepts in London – Japanese food hall, Ichiba, and Omotesando Koffee – so we paid them a visit. In this blog, we draw on some of the most interesting features of each.


    1., 2., 4. & 9. We love the considered environmental palette comprising light wood, bold colours, bright light, and grey / black.
    2. & 5. Block-printed lotus root – a traditional ingredient in Japanese cuisine – is used to great effect, in-store, online and on product (tote bags).
    3. The colour of the seats reminds us of the colour of matcha tea, a traditional Japanese drink. Also, the lampshades are reminiscent of traditional matcha tea whisks. Coincidental, or intentional, it works for us!
    6. & 7. When it comes to in-store navigation and comms, there are a lot of different things going on, but it mostly works. We particularly like these perimeter header boards – the close-up photography of the chopsticks gives a sense of place, whilst the geometric pattern in wood creates an unexpected change of pace.
    8. We’re always keen on a little in-store knowledge-building when it adds something to the customer experience, or helps inform without overloading the shopper.


    10. & 11. You need to have confidence in your brand to rely on just a square to announce your presence on the high street… but it works.
    11., 13., 15. & 17. Themes can often be tacky, but here, we like the consistency of the ‘square’ / ‘cube’ theme, which manifests itself in the logo and shop interior (light fitting, menu & paperweights as well as signature baked custard!)
    12., 13., 14. & 16. In typical Japanese fashion, the space is uncluttered and minimal. Meanwhile, the use of the wood ensures it doesn’t feel cold. The quality of the materials speak for themselves, negating any need for spend on additional fittings / adornments to add personality.





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